Palate to Palette: How Designers Translate Culinary Inspirations into Buicks

Designers cook up new colors and interiors in the studio

Buick designers are using the universal appeal of good food to inspire color and trim choices.  For example, the Choccachino interior available on the 2016 Enclave was inspired by chocolate and coffee tones; the Crystalline color of the Avenir concept car features green undertones, inspired by the various layers of an artichoke; and the Toasted Coconut Metallic, available on the 2016 Cascada, was inspired by golden brown coconut flakes.
Buick designers are using the universal appeal of good food to inspire color and trim choices.  For example, the Choccachino interior available on the 2016 Enclave was inspired by chocolate and coffee tones; the Crystalline color of the Avenir concept car features green undertones, inspired by the various layers of an artichoke; and the Toasted Coconut Metallic, available on the 2016 Cascada, was inspired by golden brown coconut flakes.

DETROIT – Buick vehicle designers spend years perfecting their craft. But increasingly, many of them are literally following their gut as they create tomorrow’s vehicles.

From the elegant simplicity of the local farmer’s market to elaborate prix fare dinners on Instagram, Buick designers are using the universal appeal of good food to inspire color and trim choices.

Look no further than the Choccachino interior of the 2016 Enclave and the new Cascada convertible in Toasted Coconut Metallic, available in early 2016.

Or, take the green undertones of the Crystalline exterior color of the Buick Avenir concept that debuted to award-winning reviews at the 2015 North American International Auto Show in Detroit.

They were inspired by an artichoke.

“Artichokes have a beautiful color,” said Krysti Murphy, creative designer, Buick Color and Trim. “When we look at that type of vegetable, we take the green tones and desaturate them, creating more of a silvery green by adding metallic flakes. This creates a richer, more wearable color.”

If delicious-sounding vehicle colors whet a customer’s appetite for a new car, well, that’s the idea. A study last month by automotive paint maker PPG Industries revealed 60 percent of consumers consider color in their purchase decisions.

“People make associations with particular hues based on personal experiences,” said Sally Augustin, Ph.D., founder of Design with Science, and an environmental psychologist specializing in person-centered design. “If you have had a positive experience with a particular food, you can develop positive associations with the colors that are clearly linked to that item, translating into preferences and use in creative projects.”

In a world that’s about living to eat as much as it eats to live, sharing photos of food on social networks is almost as popular as consuming what’s shown. Buick designers have more than 178 million images tagged #food on Instagram as their creative muse in the studio.

“We are developing our future vehicles with our customers’ passions and interests in mind,” said Cathy Black, lead designer, global Buick Color and Trim. “We know our customers are passionate about food and hosting dinner parties for close friends and family. They value the quality time and sharing a good meal. Having this customer insight prompted us to start exploring the culinary world as a source of color and texture inspiration several years ago.”

Buick is an international modern luxury brand offering vehicles with sculpted designs, luxurious interiors and thoughtful personal technologies, along with responsive-yet-efficient performance. Buick is attracting new customers with its portfolio of award-winning luxury models in North America and China. Learn more about Buick cars and crossovers at www.buick.com, on Twitter @buick, on Instagram or at www.facebook.com/buick